The English word "wallet" (as in something you carry in your pocket to hold money, credit cards, etc.) can be translated into Spanish as cartera or billetera. Are the words synonyms that can be used interchangeably, or does each country generally use one word or the other? If it is a regional difference, what areas of the Spanish-speaking world generally use each word?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
It is a regional choice, as with many other nouns.
In Chile, billetera is the only translation of wallet (though we would understand the use of cartera from a foreign person), but cartera is actually purse, as in handbag: a bag a woman uses to carry stuff, which is usually much bigger than a wallet and does not fit in a pocket.
In other countries, words like bolsa and bolso are used for purse, while cartera is used for wallet.
My guess is that cartera is more widespread, because it is also the origin of carterista (pickpocket), which is more standard. If you intend to translate the word for a global audience, you should go for cartera.
In Colombia, the word
I should mention that
I am almost certain that in other Latin American countries (Argentina comes to mind) the words